By Scott Smith Kokomo Tribune
---- — IU Health system officials are planning hundreds of layoffs next month, but the job cuts aren’t expected to affect IU Health Tipton Hospital.
The Indianapolis-based hospital system announced Thursday it will lay off up to 800 employees as part of ongoing cost-cutting measures, in response to expected cuts in reimbursement.
IU Health CEO Dan Evans told employees in a letter, later posted by WRTV-TV, that precise numbers of layoffs won’t be known until next month, after some employees have been given a chance to decide on an early retirement package being offered.
The Tipton hospital, as part of IU Health’s north region, will be working within that group to find savings in “non-staff costs and process efficiencies,” according to IU Health director of marketing and public relations Ryan Moore.
“There will be no staffing impact at IU Health Tipton Hospital related to today’s announcement,” Moore said.
The other two hospitals in the north region, IU Health North and IU Health Saxony, will both be seeing staff reductions, Moore said.
The Tipton hospital employs about 300, and Moore said staffing has remained at that level since IU Health took over operations in late 2010.
The moves announced Thursday are the latest in a series of belt-tightening steps taken by hospitals across the state over the past few years, as health care providers have been under increasing pressure to lower the cost of health care.
In his letter, Evans didn’t specifically mention the Affordable Care Act, but said “we fully expect that the future reimbursement environment, from all payers, will look much like Medicare does today.”
Evans said hospitals will be increasingly tasked with helping keep Hoosiers healthy, rather than caring for them only when they are ill, a paradigm shift he called managing “population health.”
In May, the St. Vincent Health system announced it would layoff an unspecified number of employees across 22 facilities, and as far back as 2011, then-Howard Regional Hospital announced plans to trim $13 million in annual spending.
In January, Howard, which merged in 2012 with Indianapolis’ Community Hospital system, indicated there haven’t been any local layoffs since Community took over.